The Vereeniging Magistrates Court has handed down hefty prison sentences to two criminals who were found guilty of tampering with essential infrastructure and stealing fuel from Transnet Pipelines (TPL).
TPL said in a statement that it welcomed the sentences handed down in court on Thursday.
Both accused were sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment for tampering with essential infrastructure and a further 15 years for fuel theft. One of the accused was sentenced to a further six months’ imprisonment for being in South Africa illegally.
TPL said it was “especially appreciative” of the attention the magistrate had placed on the aggravating circumstances, the severity of the crime and the devastating impact it had the country, its citizens, and the environment. It said the sentences sent a strong message that tampering with critical and essential infrastructure would not be tolerated, and that perpetrators would face the full might of the law.
“Our actions are bearing fruit as is evident from the decrease in the fuel theft incidents and the increase in the number of convictions and heavy sentences. We will continue to reinforce these efforts and will not rest until this crime is eradicated,” said Michelle Phillips, TPL chief executive.
TPL added that it was committed to strengthening security measures to address the safety and protection of its critical and essential infrastructure.
It urged the public to report any suspicious activities along the Transnet pipeline to the Tip-offs Anonymous Hotline: HOTLINE/0800 003 056
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